SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – We’re only a month into 2022, but 911 dispatchers and law enforcement agencies say they are already noticing a pattern. The amount of crime they’re seeing might be because of the weather.

OzarksFirst spoke with Kris Inman, director of the Springfield-Greene County 911. Inman says his work is very seasonal, so during cold weather months his staff gets fewer calls. As it gets warmer, the phone rings a lot more.

“You read oftentimes about 911 calls in Florida a lot,” Inman said. “As I’ve thought about that over the years I’ve been here, that’s because it’s warm all the time. When it’s warm here our calls get crazier and it gets much busier. So in Florida, it’s always warm, so it stands to reason they always have a lot of 911 calls and they’re pretty crazy.”

Deputy Paige Rippee with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office agrees and says during the summer the crime rate increases.

“More people are out,” Deputy Rippee said. “There’s more people roaming the streets at night. Transits are on the move more. They’re not hunkered down.”

When it’s cold, she says there are fewer places and times for crimes to happen.

“Colder times you’re stuck, Deputy Rippee said. “Either you’re stuck inside just because it’s cold outside, or there are less places and less times for crime of opportunity because of the weather. That still doesn’t prevent it or deter it. If criminals go out and want to commit a crime they’re going to.”

An example she notices from the end of November to March, at the very least: Car break-ins and stolen vehicles.

“People are going out early in the morning and starting their cars to get them warmed up,” Deputy Rippee said. “It’s a very quick crime of opportunity for criminals because their keys are in the ignition as it’s warming up. We try to put out some information at the beginning of all the winter months saying, ‘Hey, just so you know, here’s how to prevent it.”

No matter the weather, Inman says his staff constantly answers calls about domestic violence situations.

“We do,” Inman said. “That’s a call type that is frequent all year. We get a lot of those. Probably if we were to break down our call types, that would probably be among our top two or three call types all the time. So, a lot of domestic violence. A tremendous amount of that.”